Welsh Staked Stools-Part 1

I have been having a lot of fun with then lathe, but it is time to get back on track.  I have two new tables that are in desperate need of some sort of accompanying seating.  To that end my first run at keeping butts off the floor will be four Welsh inspired stools.

I’m lucky in that Chris Schwarz just completed a run of High Staked Stools built in this manner.  So he effectively did all of my prototyping for me (thanks Chris!).  He worked through several seat, leg and stretcher shapes in his process.  His posts about them allowed me to see the forms, eliminate options and firm up my own plans.

My version will draw visual elements from my tables and will be a couple of inches higher than a standard dinning chair.  It has been my experience that stools matching dinning chair height always feel too short in use.  There is a delicate balance between seating height, the sitter’s center of gravity and the back of chair.  Remove the back and everything feels off.  So my stools will be a little higher to try to bring things back into balance (I hope).

To finalize my design I worked up a proportional drawing.

These four stools will have SYP seats, red oak legs and white oak stretchers.  I began by milling the red oak leg stock.

Then laid them out to be tapered octagons.

To shape the legs, I first removed the bulk of the waste with a drawknife at the shaving horse.  Then refined the octagon with a plane.

On all of my previous staked projects I have used the Veritas tapered tenon cutter and reamer.  They work well, but I will be trying out a 1″ diameter round tenon method on these stools.  From what I can find this method was used by John Brown and was recently demonstrated in Don Weber’s video “Build a Welsh Stick Chair”.  Thanks to the new lathe, creating the 1″ tenons is quite easy.

After an afternoon of work, I have all of the legs ready to go.

Next I’ll work on the seats.

Greg Merritt

 

 

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Ratcheting Book Stand-Lathe Project

One of the projects high on my list,  in the event that I ever had a lathe, is a 17th Century turned book stand that Peter Follansbee reintroduced.  It’s a nifty design with a ratcheting mechanism to adjust the angle of display and a wide shelf on which to seat the book.  Now that I have a lathe and trying to learn to turn, the book stand seemed like a perfect project to aid me along.  Plus, I simply really want to make one! Continue reading

Posted in Illustrating, Ratcheting Book Stand, Spring Pole Lathe | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Honey Dipper-000-Lathe Project 

In my ongoing quest to learn to turn and, to a lesser extent, shrink my mountain of offcuts I present the next beginner project that I have tackled.  The Honey Dipper.

There is not much to say about the honey dipper, the name pretty well sums it up.  It is another simple lathe project that lends itself to beginner success.  There is ample opportunity for practice with basic shaping and working with the parting tool.   Continue reading

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Pole Lathe Notes-3

Well the leather sewing machine belt drive cord gave up the ghost.  A little disappointing that it only lasted about three weeks of moderate use.  Rather than waste my remaining leather cord, I made a trip to the Big Box and bought a fifty foot hank of 7mm solid braid polyester cord.  I let you know how this stuff holds up. Continue reading

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Garden Dibber-Lathe Project

Like most things in hand work, no amount of reading or watching of videos can teach you to turn wood on a lathe.  At some point you have to start putting tool to wood.  Only then can your hand and mind begin to build the connections that are need to actually use a lathe efficiently.  I don’t know about you, but there is only so much random turning I can as practice before it becomes boring and thus less conducive to learning.  I need to have something at stake.  I need to have the risk of failure or the lure of success in order to fully engage in the process. Continue reading

Posted in Garden Dibber, Spring Pole Lathe | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Pole Lathe Notes-2

The pole lathe takes a little getting used too.  Even more so since I’m trying to learn to use it and learn to turn simultaneously.  It took me a couple of hours to develop a rhythm and feel for the pumping action.  It proved to be a much more relaxed rhythm than I had imagined it would be and there is a good bit of feedback from the lathe and the work to guide you.  One element of this lathe that has proven quite useful is the adjustable double spring pole configuration.  I quickly took to adjusting the tension on the springs to match the type of turning I was trying to do.  Heavier tension for roughing out and lighter tension for more detailed work.  It takes only seconds to reach down and slide the connecting strap to change the spring tension. Continue reading

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Pole Lathe Notes-1

This will be a first in a series of ongoing post as I learn to use the spring pole lathe.  These posts will be mostly for my own journaling purposes, but it may prove useful to others as well.

When I finally made the decision to build a lathe, I agonized over which design to build.  I knew that I wanted a human-powered version though.  So the first major decision was spring pole or treadle? Ultimately I chose to build Roy Underhill’s version of a German double spring pole lathe due to its portability, simplicity of construction and the fact that it is a self-contained unit.  Continue reading

Posted in Spring Pole Lathe, Thoughts-Views, Tools | Tagged , , | 13 Comments